Readers of The Lost Art

Y: The Last Man vol. 2-7

March 4th, 2009

Y The Last Man: Volume 7Y The Last Man: Volume 2Y The Last Man: Volume 3Y The Last Man: Volume 4Y The Last Man: Volume 5Y The Last Man: Volume 6 

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artists: Pia Guerra, Goran Sudzuka.
Reviewer: Louise

“Y: The Last Man” vol. 2-7 continues the tale of Yorick, the last human male left alive on Earth after a plague mysteriously wipes out every male mammal on earth – after Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand. Accompanied by the mysterious Agent 355 and a scientist who blames herself for the plague, Dr Alison Mann, Yorick wanders the post-apocalyptic world, trying desperately to solve the mystery of the plague’s origins whilst at the same time trying to get to Australia to find his missing girlfriend, Beth.

As the story progresses in these volumes, it gets continually better. Thankfully, Vaughan knocks the antagonists of the first volume, the biker-gang Amazons, over the head early on in the series in favour of getting on with the story and exploring this strange new world. “Cycles” looks at the attempts of the women left behind by the plague to build new communities and restore civilisation. “One Small Step” tells the perilous tale of the attempt by the only two remaining human males – two astronauts orbiting the Earth – to return home, and is one of the strongest stories in the whole series. The next volume, “Safeword”, is not as strong, dealing mainly with Yorick’s survivor guilt (and taking the opportunity to have a few gratuitous semi-naked dominatrix images in there too – why?)

Thankfully, “Ring of Truth” gets back into the action with a vengeance, as Yorick begins to discover more about the plague, his long-lost and brainwashed sister Hero re-emerges, and he himself starts to fall sick with the plague. “Girl on Girl”, despite the annoyingly-obvious title, is a gripping tale of Yorick and his companions’ journey to Australia, in search of both Yorick’s girlfriend and Ampersand, who has been captured by a mysterious Japanese mercenary. “Paper Dolls” continues this tale, as a tabloid journalist seeks the ultimate scoop (and we FINALLY get a little male nudity – oh come on, the series throughout hasn’t hesitated to throw in pictures of naked women on a regular basis), Yorick arrives in Australia, and his estranged sister encounters a woman who offered shelter to Yorick and his companions, and who now has a dangerous secret that must be protected at all costs.

All in all, “Y: The Last Man” is proving a gripping tale of adventure. Wisely, Vaughan tends to deal only lightly with some of the obvious issues thrown up by the story’s central premise (can women run the world?), preferring to tell a tale of action and adventure. Yorick visibly changes throughout the series, shedding some of his annoying earlier immaturity, but remaining recognisably human and falliable. We learn more about his companions and some of the other series regulars, but Vaughan never lets this slow down the action. Addictively readable.

¦lt;br /> Y The Last Man vol. 2: Cycles
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Vertigo (September 1, 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401200761

Y The Last Man vol. 3: One Small Step
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Vertigo (April 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401202012

Y The Last Man vol. 4: Safeword
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Vertigo (December 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401202322

Y The Last Man vol. 5: Ring of Truth
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Vertigo (July 13, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401204872

Y The Last Man vol. 6: Girl on Girl
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Vertigo (November 23, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401205011

Y The Last Man vol. 7: Paper Dolls
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Vertigo (May 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401210090

(First published 17/01/2007.)

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